It appears NHL fans may be able to blame the players if the supposed 24-team model for the resumption of the 2019-20 season suspended on March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic doesn't include best-of-three playoff showdowns.
As Brandon Maron of The Score detailed, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman offered an update on the situation during an appearance on Sportsnet 590 on Friday, and Friedman singled out Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price and Chicago Blackhawks superstar Patrick Kane as two players opponents don't want to see during a shortened series:
"(The players) felt it was not acceptable enough for the teams that had a better regular season and Pittsburgh looked at its matchup and it said 'two out of three against Carey Price is not fair for a team that had zero percentage points to play in the playoffs.'
"If the players feel that way, the players feel that way. They're the guy that they gotta shoot against and they clearly believe that he is a difference-maker ... The players fought the two-out-of-three because of him."
Earlier this week, Larry Brooks of the New York Post also reported opposing players don't want to see Price in any best-of-three or best-of-five situations.
Per Hockey-Reference, Price holds a career .914 postseason save percentage.
Friedman also said that players aren't keen on having to defeat teams led by Kane in two out of three contests.
As noted by James O'Brien of NBC Sports, Kane, a three-time Stanley Cup champion, became the youngest American-born NHL player to accumulate 1,000 career points this past January.
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